Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Friday, June 21, 2013
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move."
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Work to add branches to your contact/communication tree. If you only communicate with 20 people in your everyday life, the web of your influence is pretty easy to map.
More connections and pattern breaking makes it harder to use automated heuristics and algorithms to classify you by your connections and activities. Each connection you make connects you with that connection's connections. This compounds exponentially until you are Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with the entire nation.
Pretend to be a secret agent, whether you are one or not.
Do it for fun and piece of mind, even if you're not hiding anything.
Level: Secret Squirrel
Once a week, for no reason, drive with purpose to some random shop you've never been to before, put on a specific colored hat or wear a specific flower in your breast pocket, purchase a single cheap item, tip a strangely specific amount, say random things to random patrons "John has a long mustache 163893" and go home like nothing happened.
BONUS POINTS: "Lose" a personal item that has a "Please call X if lost" message on it. Make a stronger connection with a random person.
DANGER POINTS: Ask someone if they have the time, when they answer, ask them the same question, louder and slower. No matter how they respond, look freaked out, fast walk/run outside, pull out a notebook you brought with you, set it on fire, and let it burn into a trashcan, then leave immediately.
The Drop Box
Draft messages about things you've never done and people you've never met, than email them through "anonymous" re-mailers to random recipients, post them to random forums, or dump them in random IRC channels with lots of idlers.
BONUS POINTS: Drive across town, get on public wifi, respond to yourself with similar nonsense.
DANGER POINTS: When people ask what you're doing tell them "Allah will reveal all soon enough" or similar.
The Man on the Street
Drive to a popular intersection or onramp, and write a long string of numbers on the curb or a visible wall in chalk (CHALK!). Hundreds of people could see it per day.
BONUS POINTS: Put your message on one of those signs with handles on it, and sign-twirl it to get more attention
DANGER POINTS: Become a nuisance and get the cops called on you so your name and activities appears on the police blotter.
Create a twitter account, and just start tweeting coded messages.
BONUS POINTS: Drive across town, get on an anonymous wifi, create a new twitter account and follow your first account.
DANGER POINTS: "Follow" prominent Muslim figures and make a provocative name or include provocative hashtags. Death2America:"The time has come! 88135-38611-02395-43813-34835 #Jihad #AllahuAckbar #thingsiwishicouldtellmyeightteenyearoldselfeventhoughimlikethirtynowlolkomgbbq"
The Public Handoff
Level: Red flag
Buy tickets to a cheap sporting event, attend, walk around before it starts, buy a soda with your credit card, then leave early and buy something with your credit card across town as proof. Let Big Brother figure out who or if you talked to anyone there.
BONUS POINTS: Go home, wait for game to end, google search the game score, post on facebook how you couldn't believe X happened at the game.
DANGER POINTS: Make eye contact with security, get scared, run.
Level: On a List
Out of the blue, rent a dirt cheap motel room across town, read a book in it, then check out early. A warm body either had to watch your door while you did, or you've just added hundreds of possible connections when this data is reviewed later.
BONUS POINTS: Order four medium pizzas (different toppings) on your credit card, delivered to the room.
DANGER POINTS: Demand the pizzas be halal, make a big deal about this. Make them put it on the receipt.
The Home Grown
Level: Flagged for additional screening
Suddenly develop an intense interest in esoterica, stay up 3am doing google searches for the best industrial solvent to remove high temperature glues, or just wikiwander on wikipedia for hours, pausing for 15-30 minutes between clicks (or just open a ton of new tabs, http is connectionless, and usually there's no way to tell you're actually reading a page now or later).
BONUS POINTS: Google search "how to erase internet history" afterwards.
DANGER POINTS: Look up various explosive chemicals and how to make them using household products. Try not to have any of these products in your house, if you can. Less to explain to the raiding party.
The Pick Up
Level: Don't taze me bro!
Inexplicably go to a bar near your local airport, buy a soda with your credit card, wait one hour, then leave. Wonder what flights you might now be connected to.
BONUS POINTS: Drive to airport pickup, pull over, and yell a name at people waiting for pickups.
DANGER POINTS: Pick up a stranger, give them a ride.
The Long Drive
Level: Plead the fifth
Fill your car up with gas (the more the better), one or two days later, siphon out much of the gas out as you can (into safe containers, or burn/dispose of it if you don't care). Then drive your car to the same station on fumes, and fill it up again. Where the hell did you go to burn up all that gas? Why is there no record of you deviating from your normal pattern?
BONUS POINTS: Return to gas station a day after a fill up, and fill up someone else's car on your credit card.
DANGER POINTS: Actually drive, in the middle of the night, as far as you can toward another state until you get to half a tank, then buy something with your credit card, and drive home.
The House Guest
Level: Rendition SCHMENDITION
A spike in water or electricity usage can indicate one or more people are staying at your house, while a reduction can indicate you are not staying at your house. Let your rain barrels fill up, and use that water to fill the tanks of your toilets manually. Daily monitoring of water usage is pretty unlikely, unless you have a Smart Meter, so doing this off and on, over a month is easy and will drop your water usage noticeably for that period. If you DO have a Smart Meter then do it, 100% for one or two full days, with minimal electricity usage, and let 'em wonder. Or just do the opposite, and run every electronic device in your house for a few hours, flush your toilet twice and take extra long showers. Electricity and water is generally pretty cheap. They'll think you're part of the underground railroad.
BONUS POINTS: Do one of those one hour trips to the airport bar, then follow it up with excessive use of utilities.
DANGER POINTS: Post Craigslist ad opening your home to travelers, have them call a pay-as-you-go cell phone bought with cash. Let random strangers stay at your house for a day or two.
If the fifth dimension contains infinitely branched universes wherein different decisions were made, what if your consciousness was doing the same thing?
What if your consciousness existed as a probability waveform that you (or others?) collapsed with each conscious decision made?
That might make you think "you" in the universe where you made a different decision doesn't exist because you collapsed the waveform, but it only collapsed in this branch of the fifth dimension and exists in another.
When we make a decision and make a new branch of the fifth dimension, information (your consciousness) is passing, and persisting, between these dimensions. The only way this connection is through a pathway between the different points on the fifth dimension, the sixth dimension.
Does this mean our consciousness is a sixth dimensional probability waveform?
Suppose on that (theoretically) two dimensional plane where time branches out at each decision we make or don't make there was a third dimension sitting above it (the seventh dimension).
Would our consciousness not exist in that dimension because we died or otherwise don't exist there? Or if our consciousness DID exist there, what connections would our consciousness be able to make?
ALSO: In the double slit experiment: when the probability waveform of an observed electron collapses, does it collapse into another fifth dimensional universal branch?
This would imply that the observed electrons in a double slit experiment that went through the left slit only went left in OUR dimension, but by observing, we spawned a new fifth dimensional branch where it went through the right slit. (do we create branches by merely observing instead of actively deciding?)
If so, why is it we can observe, within our fifth dimensional universal branch, the RESULTS of a probability waveform in the form of an interference pattern, instead of just one of the possibilities?
This would be like Schrödinger putting his cat in a box, and instantly smelling dead cat while hearing a cat meow.
Every observation we make or don't make collapses our world into a new branch of the universe. How could unobserved electrons exist in a quantum superstate, while the rest of the world around it is in one quantum state?
Obviously this is some intersection of points; the sixth (or seventh?) dimension. Our concept of spacetime is a Planck frame, and there is some intersection with other universe's Planck frames causing all possibilities to appear in... all? Or just our frame? Could we send messages to other universes through these intersections?
Does this mean that, sixth dimensionally, we can measure or observe the RESULTS of the quantum superposition of our consciousness? How would we measure this? What would those results look like?
Friday, June 07, 2013
Maybe it's because I understand the truth of data
Actually, it's probably because I'm a paranoid hacker and a anti-government libertarian.
But this is my surprised face that the fedgov has been tracking all phone calls, all facebook/youtube/skype/google/apple interactions, all locations from which you use these services.
If you weren't already operating under this assumption you haven't been paying attention.
But don't worry, here's a few reasons why you're not already in jail for thought crimes!
1. Too much raw data
Good news: My suspicions were somewhat confirmed here that they can't process all the data yet. At the moment, they're just storing it. It's just a numerically indexed amorphous blob of data.
Now if you have an indexing point, such as "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev" then, there's TONS of data you can review, and new branches on the connection tree you can investigate off that one leaf of data. But you need a starting point.
Bad news: Computing power is getting to the point where the amount of data is trivial. They're saving it not because they intend to go through all of it, but because they intend to, one day, have the technology to do so automatically.
2. Too many cooks, no one follows the recipes
Good news: If you go to recipe.com and myrecipe.com and search for wild rice gumbo on each, and your friendly neighborhood Big Brother FISA warrants all the information from those websites, there would not be a way to combine that data to output: "Times searched for wild rice gumbo=2" automatically.
Recipe.com and Myrecipe.com store their data differently, so no matter how similar they are, you won't be able to lock the data together like to lego bricks.
However, if they knew they wanted data on your IP address, and you connected to both sites from home using the same IP address, a person, not a computer, but a PERSON could review the data from both web sites, apply brainpower, and say, "It appears this person searched for wild rice gumbo from both sites."
But what if CableCo refreshed your IP address between the time that you went to recipe.com and myrecipe.com? Well then BB would need a FISA warrant for all of CableCo's data, and then a PERSON would have to review that data, and figure out how to connect a subscriber to a certain IP address for a certain block of time.
This problem becomes exponential because the more data you try to connect, the more complexity you add.
Bad news: There are new heuristics engines that can take a pretty solid guess at what things are, and how they might connect. They're not perfect, and a slight imperfection at the second generation means a HUGE imperfection at the twentieth generation, but they're getting better. Or worse, they might get data wrong and implicate or single you out simply due to a mistake.
3. Analog recognition
Good news: If I upload a video to youtube, youtube would love to be able to scan it automatically and return, "This video is about a cat that appears to be playing the keyboard. However, as this is unlikely, the owner is probably controlling the cat's arms. Additionally, the cat seems disinterested." But to a computer, a video is just a bunch of flickering lights. It can tell you technical things about it, the date it was recorded, the size of the file, the metadata, but it can't interpret the flickering lights.
Similarly, a phone call is a series of electronic modulations. Some are static, some are speech, some are background noise, some are all of those things together. Interpreting those warbles into actual speech can be very difficult.
The other difficulty is the sheer size of the data. Because each frame or millisecond of analog data may be important, you can't skip any of it. A high quality recording of me farting into the air intake of your central air system is a huge file. If BB could wave a magic wand and turn that waste of space and processing effort into "ET farts in vent lol" that's much easier to process and store.
Bad news: Speech to text recognition is pretty darn good, and getting better every day. Each time you use google's voice recognition or chat idly with Siri, you make their systems (and therefore, BB's systems) better at turning analog data into text or metadata that they can store and process at a tiny fraction of the computing/storage cost.
Facial recognition is up and coming, but far from where it needs to be. It still relies on old hardware and requires certain conditions. Sounds good right? Well, if you can control the hardware and conditions, like inside an airport terminal, or at the sidewalk outside a government building, they work just fine for exposed faces.
4. The noise to signal ratio
Good news: What percentage of all the data they're gather do you think they're actually interested in? It's nowhere near as high as 0.0001%
The sheer volume of data is gargantuan... no, monumental... no, unfathomable... no, galactic! Yes, the amount of data is GALACTIC. Think of every fart joke on twitter, every racist youtube comment, every "Lol LeIk YoU KaRe aBot Mi tRbL dAy OMGWTFBBQ" post on the faces book, all screaming in your face while you try to find where John Doeson saved a draft email reading, "These reasons and more are why I will strike back against The West for its crimes against my people."
Noise data is being created every day, it's unstoppable. The more of it there is, the harder it is to sift through. No matter the computing power.
A computer that processes all data instantly using unicorns is still limited by the pipes that feed that computer data.
60 million people processing this data day and night would never catch up to real time, so there MUST be limits on what data is deemed important enough to process, therefore, there are places where (barring some true stupidity) your data will be ignored.
Bad news: ... ? I guess if that unicorn computer existed, we could worry about faster pipes, but that just means more noise, faster. It's hard to get around this, even with quantum computing.
As terrible as it sounds, all the useless data on the internet does actually have a use... Be sure to thank a racist youtube commenter.
5. Data packages not partnership
Good news: All accounts I've read have indicated daily full data exports or individual requests. This is likely a function of legal requirements. BB may be able to subpoena X information between Y and Z date, but it cannot enforce a partnership.
Full data exports are giant blobs of data that must be transmitted, entered, and processed before something can be done with them. This means more overhead, and more difficulty. More importantly, this means BB has to conform and contort to work with THE COMPANY'S systems.
That means this data is not optimized, is subject to the company's limitations, and is affected by the company's data storage processes.
Your gmail notes how much free space you have available. What happens if you have 4 GB available, upload a 3.9 GB file of your manifesto (padded with 1080p recordings of bloggers farting into vents), then delete it, and upload a 3.9 GB file of 1080p recordings of paint drying? Does google "delete" the first 3.9 GB file, but secretly stores it forever? Good question.
Blogger keeps a history of posts I've made and drafts I've saved. If I delete a post, might Blogger keep it considering it's so small? Maybe. Multiply that by the tens of millions of users deleting posts every day, and there starts to be a serious cost to Blogger. But lets assume for a moment that they do.
What if I'm actively writing a post, and it's auto saving as I type, and I write "That's why we should kill the president and enforce sharia law" then erase it, and continue normally? Does blogger save all the iterations of my draft posts as they're automatically saved? Pretty unlikely. Maybe just the changes? But that requires more processing power to compare.
What if I delete my blog? Seems pretty likely that blogger might store the whole of my blog for some time in case I change my mind, or if BB requests the information I'm clearly trying to hide. But what if I overwrite ALL my blog posts with random bits of a book I downloaded from Project Gutenberg, THEN delete my blog?
Now you're thinking laterally!
Bad news: The real danger is data partnerships. This would be BB commanding all the company's data, in real time, be forwarded to them, in their own format, for processing. This is 100% connectivity from the company to BB. It eliminates thousands of man-hours, adds an instant update of all changes (ALL not just what the company keeps at the end of the day), and becomes limited only by processing power (which will become unlimited when they figure out that whole unicorn/CPU interface).
Companies may choose to interface in this way, but it's very unlikely. It is also unlikely BB may compel companies to interface in this way. But lots of things that have already happened were unlikely.
6. Your foe is a 20' foot 10,000lb dullard
Good news: At the end of the day, even backed by magical unicorn technology, the Federal Government just sucks at doing everything.
Bad news: There are individuals so zealous for statism and fascism that they work tirelessly to enforce their will upon you simply for their own personal satisfaction. You may be singled out by the dullard, and if he begins the paperwork to swing his fist at you, and you are in the same place long enough for that fist to hit you, it can destroy you.
So what do I do?
Treat all things that happen on networks you don't control as public information. Don't talk about your drug deal/tax evasion/murder over the phone, near your unused phone while under investigation, or with your onStar device tracking your every move and listening for "car accidents" (who owns GM again?).
Don't post things online that you don't want BB to see. (That includes this blog)
Use PGP for all electronic communications.
Obfuscate your meaning in messages.
Don't get on the radar. (I'm not talking about the "I'm a libertarian, Eff the fedgov" radar, I mean the "Plant the bomb on the first and third load bearing support in the parking garage of the federal building at 2am" kind of radar. The fedgov already knows ornery libertarians exist, and they certainly know they don't much care for the fedgov, but that only makes you one out of tens of millions of people.
Make your online persona fit one of BB's molds. Psychological profiles are excellent things to gather, and easy to extrapolate with "close enough" heuristics. Remember how the signal to noise ratio is so high that there must be things BB doesn't both to look at normally? Well there are certain personalities that BB is just not that interested in. Try to become one of those personalities filed under "loud but gutless" or "mostly harmless."
Poke holes in your online persona, and passingly embrace the stereotypes that others want to believe about you. Show that you are philosophically dishonest, and occasionally abandon your morals when convenient (at least, say you do online). "Yeah, I took that government aid, but it's only because it's my money anyways, I paid into the system, and it's not like it's stealing from someone else because it's my money too!" Become someone who doesn't stand out by fitting a stereotype.
Appear to fall into their trap. After the next attack, have a "Come to Obama" moment, where you realize that these "turrists" are "just too dangerous" for us to continue being "free" anymore because "freedom" doesn't mean anything if you're suicide bombed with anthrax ball bearings pressure cooker box cutter TERRORISTS!!!!11 From then on, let your online persona be that of a statist and government apologist.
But don't change too much too fast. A drastic swing in the content of your online postings is more worrisome that you posting, "Someone otta kill dem gubmint offishils!" every day for years.
WARNING: DO NOT DEVIATE
Remember when I was talking about heuristics? Patterns are something computers are GREAT at figuring out and monitoring. A computer system can definitely detect variations in activity, and flag them for review! The sensitivity must be reduced so it doesn't flag every person who buys their Starbucks five minutes later than normal, so if you must change, gradual changes are the key! It would be better to maintain, if you can, what you were doing previously in conjunction with your new activites.
Don't go dark!
Refusing to use all online services and primary phone carriers may be more of a red flag than doing exactly what you're doing right now. Especially when BB thinks he has a bead on you.
Besides, why out the informant when he's more useful to you delivering counter-intelligence? Use these systems knowing they are specifically for BB.
Don't pull the onStar out of your car, wire it for battery power, and leave it in your garage on your special trip.
Don't stop using your debit card, use it to buy your groceries with your rewards card like normal. Then go back in, and buy what you want with cash and no customer card. Yes, the Jack Bauer 5000 license plate tracking system followed you to the store, and yes, Kroger's customer records show you bought X items for Y dollars, and yes, your debit card shows exactly Y dollars at that place in that time window. Do you think they're going to go through the trouble of pulling the security video tapes (if they're not overwritten!) to confirm that this was ALL you bought when they've already got so much data fitting their expectations?
Don't stop texting/calling your comrades! This is a huge indicator of some other form of communication, and will draw further scrutiny into how you might be communicating beyond BB's vision. Maybe a series of passive aggressive texts followed by a long shouting match over the phone, and some final four letter words exchanged via text? The ruse may fall apart when you buy Chinese food with your debit card at the place across the street from his house once a week.
Create digital alibis for your out of character actions. If you're going to meet someone at a book shop you've never been before, do a google search for a book you want, search for nearby bookstores, call the nearby book stores, do a google search for "book store inventory search online", call a couple more, then call your target book store, map directions to the place, text your wife that you're going to get the book and will be back soon, take your phone along, and buy gas on the way, actually buy the book, but not before going for a walk with your friend (with your phone in the car, and his phone at home so you're not on the same tower).
Provide a natural progression for your searches. Think of the murderers who google searched "How to kill someone" then after various searches searched "Where to buy trimetholpoisonate" and out-clicked to chemistrydirect.com. It wouldn't be much better for them to search, out of the blue, "trimetholpoisonate." But maybe if they were searching "My cat is constipated", then "diuretic", then "diuretic for cats", then "where to buy Shitty Kitty Drops", then "Shitty Kitty coupon", then "Shitty Kitty generic brand", then "Shitty Kitty active ingredient", then "trimetholpoisonate for cats", then "Where to buy trimetholpoisonate" and out-clicked to chemistrydirect.com. This stands out a lot less (assuming you actually have a cat... OR searched on google "craigslist free kittens [local city]", posted about your new cat on facebook, and used your debit card to buy cat food and kitty litter once a month)
Make one or two everyday tasks completely private, just for practice.
Buy and use a prepaid cell phone or credit card with cash.
Turn on a netflix movie at home, then drive somewhere without your cell phone, and add the spent gas back to your car (with cash) before you get home.
Create an email account that you only access from a Starbucks on the other side of town. (Left your cell at home, and refilled your gas tank before you got back, right?)
Pull the battery out of your cell phone and have a private conversation, or put it in the bathroom with the exhaust fan running loudly, and flush before you pick it back up.
Work out codes with your friend, and text each other with unassuming messages that are actually code for other messages.
Keep track of all the "traffic" cameras at the intersections near you, practice plotting routes that pass few or no cameras (You probably shouldn't do this on Google Maps...)
Don't ever think BB is all knowing.
By the way, listen to Glenn Beck. He's the only one who has been putting these things together in an honest and measured way.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Why are libertarians trying to force their will on other people when it comes to gay marriage?
It's not intentional (at least, I don't THINK it is), but the problem is this fight has become about forcing people to say the M-word.
Take prop 8 as a prominent example, It was one line of legislation. Yes, one. It read, in its entirety;
"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
Nothing about nullifying civil unions, blocking adoptions, or rounding up gays into internment camps. Just the M word.
"But wait!" I've heard many times, "A civil union isn't the same as a marriage!" Actually, it is. In the state of California, civil unions have the same protections and privileges as a marriage.
Prop 8 was literally only about the M-word.
And in that paltry petition, it failed. It lost because the supposedly liberal people of California didn't want it.
Sorry, it wasn't because ZOMG TEH MORMENZ, or because the Pope pooped in the woods. It was because the people of California, when asked, said "No."
Now we get to libertarian crazy town.
Because at this point, libertarians started arguing that the government should overrule the people's decision and force them to use the M-word in describing the union of two people of the same sex.
"Don't be ridiculous!" Larry "The Big L" Libertarian says, "You act as if gangs of gays are beating up religious people until they say the m-word! No one is being put upon by this legislation!"
If that's the case then why do they keep voting it down? Over and over and over again, in state after state after state?
"Because they're bigots and hate gays!"
Supposing you're right, do libertarians advocate forcing people to agree with us? Do Libertarians demand uniformity of thought? Or is that only for beliefs that you believe are dumb?
Technically the real issue here is that the vote keeps going to the people, and the people have spoken, just not the way libertarians apparently wanted. So libertarians are arguing that people should change to suit the will of others.
Does that seem libertarian to you?
"People's religious beliefs don't trump personal freedom. Majority opinion should be overruled when it comes to personal rights."
I'm glad you brought up rights, Strawman o' mine, because the people who voted "no" were freely exercising their religious beliefs. That's actually inside the 1st amendment. Which amendment is the right to have the fedgov anoint your marriage?
"But the majority shouldn't impose its will on a minority, no matter the reason. America is a republic to defend the rights of minority. The state should overrule them!"
From a perspective of federalism, yes, the state should be able to do whatever it likes, and actually, it can.
California could try to pass it legislatively, but they go to the people because they know gay marriage is unpopular, and they like getting reelected.
"Then the supreme court should tell the states and the people what to do!"
This is where the libertarian support of gay marriage seems to go full retard.
Since when do Libertarians run to the supreme court, and ask them to force a state whose people agreed on a course of action, to overrule the state and its people?
While we're talking about the supreme court, I'd like to remind us all that nine people in robes didn't give us our right to keep and bear arms, so they can't take it away.
I celebrated the Heller decision like everyone else, but only because it extended Claire Wolfe's awkward phase. It was not a magic bullet, nor was it validation. If I elect myself ruler of your life, and magnanimously deign that you may go about your business, would you feel relief at my benevolence? Or would you just chuckle?
"Alright, fine, lets be honest... We all know this is more about getting the government out of marriage than it is about gay marriage."
This is the crux of my concern. Two groups joined up to fight for the same ground with different destinations in mind. Once that ground is gained, libertarians will lose.
The fight has become over the top and, dare I say, flamboyant. A win on this ground is a loss for libertarians who hitched their wagon to this fight and are destined to suffer from its failure.
Yes, failure. This is not a popular fight. Gay marriage has been deeply unpopular even in deeply liberal states. Many failed pieces of legislation have proven that.
Libertarians shouldn't be running to the supreme court for justice. We should be appealing to the people with common-sense and rational arguments.
So raise your hand if you think there's been an abundance of common sense and rationality in this debate.
Bueller? ... Bueller? ... Bueller?
"The ends justify the means. Getting the fedgov out of marriage would be a huge win, no matter how we get there!"
Ok, lets imagine victory. Say the fedgov threw up its hands and said, "FINE! GO BE GAY IF YOU WANT! I DON'T EVEN CARE ANYMORE!" and got itself out of the marriage business. Say it deferred to the states, accepting any state marriage certificate as a union with the same protections.
Do you think this fight would be over?
Of course not! There'd be gay riots in the streets! How DARE the fedgov not FORCE every state to allow gay marriage! It's about rights! Except... which right would being infringed upon at this point? The right to force other people to say a word? The right to force people to vote against their religious beliefs? Then, when libertarians celebrated it as a victory, gay activists would turn on them for not sharing their goal.
Libertarians need to acknowledge that we don't share the same goal with the gay rights movement.
There is no victory here.
Either gay marriage wins, and libertarians become a group that opposes religion and forces their will on others, or gay marriage loses, and libertarians lose the momentum they've built getting the feds out of our marriages.
"So what do we do then? Give up the partnership? Lose all we've gained?"
Not really. I think we just need a slight course deviation. Not a 180, just, like, five degrees off to one side. We're going in the same direction, but we don't have the same destination (or convoy!)
So when a gay rights advocate fights for legislation to force all 50 states to acknowledge gay marriage, just say,
"Getting the government out of the marriage business is the root of this issue, and where we should be focusing. Because it would empower the individual residents of each state to chart the course of the state, and win the freedom they seek without nine unelected people in robes thousands of miles away telling them what to do."
"You just hate gay marriage."
Actually no, I think gays should be allowed to marry. I don't think the fedgov can provide a service to one taxpayer and deny it to another. However, if it weren't in the fedgov's hands, I'd defer to the states.
"How can you 'defer to the states' when widows of gay service members are being denied benefits!"
Yeah, I keep hearing that, and I think it's wrong and distressing (again, a service to one taxpayer, but not another), but I don't think it's happening enough to warrant all this pressure on the issue. Which begs the question--
What is this fight actually about?
Love is a personal experience, and I never understood what impact a piece of paper stamped or signed by another person could possibly have on it.
There are many gay men in committed, loving relationships right now, living happily, regardless of their union status as applied by the federal government (or lack thereof!).
Look at it from a gun rights perspective. The supreme court doesn't protect my rights. I do. With my rifle, my skill, and my willingness to use it. My freedoms are extremely personal.
If Obama stacked the court with liberals and they all but nullified the second amendment, that wouldn't mean the inalienable rights endowed to me by my creator ceased to exist.
So why would a bureaucrat stamping a form have some effect on your deep, abiding love and personal commitment to your soul mate?
It doesn't make sense, and I ask again; what is this fight REALLY about?
Personally? The only thing that makes sense to me, is that it's about wanting to be normal.
If the feds made a new classification of marriage called "Super Marriage," and only allowed to a select group of couples to apply for that status, I think there'd be plenty of excluded couples clambering just as desperately for the privilege.
But I think the only couples who thought they needed a Super Marriage would be the ones that were in trouble already.
The union of two people who love each other doesn't magically improve when you call it a marriage, or a "civil union with all the protections of a marriage," or a Super Marriage, or a jelly donut. It is what it is.
And it isn't what it isn't.
If you're not happy with your Honda Civic, forcing all your friends to call it a Lamborghini isn't going to help.
The Bard said, "The lady doth protest too much" and methinks the flamboyant and viciously vocal section of the gay rights movement is getting in our faces so it doesn't have to look in the mirror.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I was driving to work this morning and glanced in my rear-view mirror.
At the mere sight of the driver behind me, my immunohippie response gland dumped antihippomine into my blood stream, and I instantly knew everything about her.
What she was thinking: "I can't believe I have to work to feed this country's Corporatocracy." "Why can't I just live a carbon-neutral life in the woods, subsisting on stream water, berries, and Starbucks venti soy double triple mocha frappaccinos?" "How can I make name-calling a valid debate tactic?" "Mother Gaia, please give me the strength to attack idiots who believe there's a god." "I can't believe my car runs on gasoline. If only I had an electric car that ran on coal." "I wish everyone felt as horrible as I do. Then they'd understand how happy they'd be if they'd only live the way I tell them to." "I know the aphids and caterpillars need their 'fair share,' but my organic garden is in shambles!" "Should I ram the "don't tread on me" car in front of me?" "How hard should I ram the "don't tread on me" car in front of me?"
What she had for breakfast: Free-trade cruelty-free gluten-free soy-free organic cardboard pieces in a bowl of water, eaten with a fork (to save the water for tomorrow, because, the rainforest, or something). The horrible lingering taste assures a permanent scowl for the day, and the roughage offers regular bowel movements to withhold in order to preserve the Earth's precious resources of toilet paper, toilet water, and pinched assholes.
What car she was driving: A rusted, dirt-colored Saaaab 1.1 liter[e] 0.5 cylinder Pretentiousmobile, with at least one patch of duct tape to prove she wouldn't buy another car "just because this one is broken/slow/getting poor mpg/absolutely horrible."
What bumper stickers were on her car: "Tree hugging dirt worshiper," "You can't hug your kids with nuclear arms," "Imagine world peace," "Violence is never the answer," "Kill all Republicans," "YOUR electricity comes from coal. MINE comes from unicorn giggles!" "Carter '13," "Stop having kids, the Earth is full," "My gender non-specific child got a Rainbow in non-patriarchal Math at Free-To-Be-Me Non-School of Worldly Understanding, along with all the other children, so they didn't feel left out."
During the indulgence of this unavoidable physiological response, I couldn't help but wonder when this generation would do itself a favor and relieve the Earth of its burden by just turning to freakin' compost already.
I immediately lamented the increased average life expectancy that our decreasingly-free-market healthcare industry provided.
They'd probably linger longer than any generation before them, turning into that monolithic voting bloc: Single-Issue Seniors, with the added bitterness of a "generation ME!" selfish streak so thick the edges almost touch on the other side.
But wait! There's a sparkle of hope! Obamacare!
I'm reminded of a news piece noting Obamacare is likely to drive up premiums and drive out competition, and I realize the sweet poetic justice that this generation stuck its children with a bill so large that the interest payments will hit them first.
Though Obamacare will eventually burn everything to the ground, at least it will burn its supporters first, and give us time for a futile, but satisfying, "I told you so!"
The boomer generation hitting retirement and the power of this fully armed and operational Obamacare will be a knock-out blow to the already beleaguered healthcare industry, and it will crumple, giving way to the monumental 20,000 page dullard they have created.
The older generation, which requires healthcare at a significantly greater rate than the rest, will be forced to rely on federal healthcare schemes, which are already cutting back on coverage to deal with the same fatal flaw from which every Ponzi scheme suffers; actually paying the participants.
This generation, first and most, will taste the bitterness of admitting that maybe Sarah Palin was right about "death panels," as a nameless, faceless, unelected, and untouchable murder of bureaucrats finds chemotherapy is mostly unsuccessful, and therefore, not an appropriate use of increasingly scarce tax-payer dollars.
The spiteful satisfaction may be limited somewhat by the laughter coming from the Boomer Graveyard as aforementioned committee determines your allotment of rations is reduced to zero because you are not an appropriate use of increasingly scarce tax-payer dollars.
But all is not lost! If it's a suicide pact they wanted, they probably should have considered what armed, freedom-minded individuals oppressed by a Kafkaesque bureaucracy might do with nothing to lose.
So, shine on, you crazy conflict-free diamond, you've sealed your fate, and have likely set into motion events that will bring about the exact opposite of what you wanted.
The God of Unintended Consequences is a fickle contrarian, and you'll be powerless to stop his final domino from falling right on top of your fat heads.